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Building an Alternative Transcript

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Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2010, 18:22
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Hey everyone,

Pretty sure this is my first thread I've ever created on this forum...odd.

Anyway, I need to tap into the knowledge base that makes up this terrific little community of ours. My girlfriend is looking to apply to business schools next year in the Georgetown, UNC, Emory range and is very concerned about her GPA (somewhat rightfully so). She graduated with an overall of 2.82 from UW-Madison (guess where we met?) but with a relatively significant upward trend. She began as an engineering student, hated it but stuck with it because she figured that's what her family wanted. She finally made the switch to economics and probably had a 3.3-3.4 her last two years. She's very bright, very motivated and I have no doubt that she'll do well on the GMAT (680-730 range if I had to guess). However she recognizes that she may need to build an alternative transcript. I told her I'd love to help her figure that out and then realized I knew NOTHING about it at all but figured many of you would so I have the following questions if you wouldn't mind:

1). Are online classes (UCLA Extension for example) reputable enough and viewed at all as significant in the eyes of an admissions committee?

2). How much do said courses cost and are they open for enrollment on a rolling year round basis?

3). How about community colleges in the area? I would assume it's more favorable to go to something like the University of Minnesota but from clicking through their website the only thing I can find are enrollment options for Continuing Education classes, not necessarily undergrad classes.

4). How many courses would you recommend? 2-3 quant style classes I would imagine (stats, accounting, finance)

If you guys have ANY other information that you think I might be missing please do feel free to share it. I know this is sort of specific for a single person but hopefully the knowledge that we can build on the subject will help many others that are probably at this moment beginning their investigation into B-School. Plus, I think I've been here ALMOST long enough for a request like this!
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2010, 19:07
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I'm not an expert on this subject, but this thread may give you some ideas...it's not specifically about alternate transcripts, but it gives a lot of the same info.

prerequisites-mba-survival-kit-41579.html
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2010, 21:00
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Hey ACNGuy,

I did 2 classes at UCLA Extension and I am currently enrolled in one at UCSD Extension. The two classes I took at UCLA Extension were Calculus and Math for Management (which was mostly financial modelling). I am currently enrolled in Statistics. My reason for taking these courses was a little different. I hadn't taken maths in 13 years (last course was in high school because I tested out of my freshman year) and I felt like there was a big, gaping, hole in my educational profile. In response to your questions:

1) I went with UCLA Extension because it had been recommended online some place and I'm located in Los Angeles (one of my instructors was in NM, though). They issue a formal transcript that I uploaded to all the R2 schools. I got my grades a little late for it to make a difference for R1, but I managed to update 2 schools in time, Anderson and Ross, who waitlisted and accepted me respectively. When I approached them about sending in the grade (basically supplementing my app right before decisions came out) they were both open to it, which makes me think that they do consider these types of efforts. If your girlfriend is going to go this route, make sure she keeps track of timing and gets everything done before she applies-I feel like it might have made a difference to Chicago Booth if I could have showed them my As in Calculus and Math for Management but by the time I got the grades they had already issued their decision.

2) The courses are about $500-600 each. Bitter aside here, I spent my bonus on Extension classes, which makes me feel sad and pathetic everytime I think about it!

3) The classes go on year round but you have to sign up for them when they start. As in, they have start and stop dates, you can't just register whenever you feel like it. Also, some courses are very popular. Math for Management filled up quickly. I'm now at UCSD because UCLA's Stats class was full by the time I got around to trying to register.

4) I would recommend Stats, Calculus, Accounting and Microeconomics. My Calculus, Stats and Micro grades are the ones I've had to explicitly declare on some of the applications. If I could go back, I would drop M for M for Micro because it killed me everytime to write in "D" for that one (fortunately, my transcript shows that the class average was C-, I didn't go to a GPA padding type place). Fortunately, I wasn't making up for any bad grades in math, I just didn't have any.

I think that what I managed to show was a good faith effort to address some of the issues the adcoms might think about (no math grades + non quant job). If your gf is trying to rebuild her resume, that mightbe a guiding point.
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2010, 21:13
Kudos to both of you!
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2010, 22:41
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Hey ACNGuy,

I took about 7 classes at UCLA Extension as well, in both online and in person. Each adcom has considered these courses to be valuable pieces of information (Haas and Texas specifically mentioned it). I originally took them for knowledge, before I decided to just do a full MBA.

My thoughts on the classes:

- Principles of Accounting A/B were pretty easy
- Intermediate Accounting got tough
- Math for Finance, if your girlfriend has an engineering background, will be pretty straightforward.
- Basic Managerial Finance is a good course that should be doable for math-types as well. Its basically Intro to Corp Fin

Doing about 2/quarter while working full time should be the max. Some of the Intermediate Accounting took up a lot of time
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2010, 13:26
Does anyone have any insight about taking a proctored final exam for Berkeley? I live in Chicago and there doesn't seem to be any local proctors.
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2010, 14:46
jbharris88 wrote:
Does anyone have any insight about taking a proctored final exam for Berkeley? I live in Chicago and there doesn't seem to be any local proctors.


I did a proctored test at Skokie library - here is the person's contact info:

Bruce Brigell
Coordinator of Information Services
Skokie Public Library
5215 Oakton Street
Skokie, IL 60077
847/324-3142
847/673-7797 [fax]
bbrigell@skokielibrary.info

Good luck!
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2010, 14:48
ACNguy,

I would highly recommend this class (from personal experience) - http://calculus.sfsu.edu/
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 17 Nov 2010, 07:07
I'm applying to business schools for round 2 and am currently taking 2 classes through UCLA online extension: intro to calculus and business statistics. I should be able to get an A in calculus, but stat is a tough class. Bordering on A/A- there.

Both classes are a lot of work, and combined with full-time job and applicaton essays, I basically have no life. Hopefully it can enhance my chances at wharton and booth.
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2010, 10:25
I just completed Business Statistics at UCLA Extension. I have an engineering background and this class was tough! The content wasn't greatly difficult, but it did require A LOT of time. I spent about 15 hours a week on the class and ended up getting an 'A'. Good class though, I definitely learned a lot.

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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2011, 21:08
Apologies for reviving an old thread, but for those of you who have taken UCLA extension courses, would you recommend taking two courses in one quarter while working full time as well? I am thinking of taking Accounting 1A/1B and also Math for Management, both online. Any feedback is much appreciated.
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2011, 00:22
I cannot speak to the UCLA extension specifically, but I took two courses very similar to what you are proposing here at the same time while working. It was a lot of work and I did not absorb all of the information presented because I just had to get it done. So I would say it is a viable option if you need to freshen up, but if you are doing this for fun I would choose one. Also consider you may have to take intro accounting as part of your core at whatever program you go to unless they offer an ability for you to test out.

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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 14 Jul 2011, 09:48
I took a calculus class at UCLA Extension (online) and that was the only class I took towards building an alternate transcript. In choosing that school, I scoured the board and found UCLA Extension on many responses. It seems to be the most popular online option for courses. Considering I did poorly in calculus in college, I have a feeling that the class was a helpful move in the application process. Someone else already mentioned the cost and for me, the online course was worth it because my work schedule made it impossible for me to attend night/weekend classes at the time, or at least in a consistent manner. For the online course, there were readings and homework assignments that were due at the beginning of each week, but everyone is free to complete the material at any time until the deadline. That let me work on things when I had free time, and put things off when work got hectic.

When I applied I wrote in the optional essay about this course grade along with my GMAT score to show I was capable of handling the quant/academic rigor of an MBA program despite a horrendous academic showing in college.
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2013, 13:21
Does it make sense to take an intro level calculus class if you already have one on your transcript? I'm in the process of registering for some alternate transcript classes now and I hadn't been considering Intro to Calc classes, but my Calc grades on my transcript are C's so maybe it makes sense?

Also I'm not sure I ever saw an answer to the question of whether or not b-schools discount online classes vs traditional ones.

Great thread, thanks!
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Re: Building an Alternative Transcript [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2013, 06:18
Hi dustwun,

You probably saw my response on the other thread, will post below just in case someone else reads this. As mentioned, I don't think there is a huge difference between online classes and traditional ones in terms of the b school's perception. I will say, though, that I found the traditional one much easier since there was a set time for class and I had access to the teacher. The online class you totally have to pace yourself and motivate yourself, this can be somewhat difficult depending on how busy you are. Both were fairly expensive, so taking more than two would be quite the investment.

With regards to Calculus, if you think you can get an A, go for it. But in my opinion you must get an A in the class. These classes take a significant amount of time and investment, it would be a shame to do all that work only to get a B or B+ which I personally would not submit with my application. Some school's have Calc requirements that say you must get at least a C in undergrad, so obviously they view Calc as a good indicator for bschool math skills. So doing well in the class I think could definitely look good.

Here's my original post from before:

Hi guys,

I'm no expert here, just figured I'd chime in on my experience. I have a 2.9 GPA and was an econ major. Did sort of mixed in my econ classes, some A-, some Cs. In Calc in college I got a C. So I too figured I'd give this alternative transcript thing a shot. I took two classes because really that is all I had time for. If you have time to do more, that might be good, but I personally don't think you have to go overboard, you'd probably be better served to work on your essays and leadership at work/extracurriculars. Here is what I did:

Principles of Accounting - UC Berkeley Extension online, got an A. - Had never taken accounting in college

Math for Business and Economics - UConn Stamford Campus - I work in Stamford so this was easiest for me, got an A. - Honestly, didn't think I would be able to get an A in a Calculus course, I'm 6 years out of college and didn't want to ruin my summer trying to learn calc (pretty much for the first time since I never understood it in school).

I don't think traditional vs. online matters as long as it is a legit program. I do think taking the classes helped me as my waitlist manager at Kellogg said that they were impressed I took the initiative to help show them my quant skills after having a not good GPA and that was probably what made a lot of the difference between me being on the waitlist vs dinged outright.

Hope that is somewhat helpful, good luck!
Re: Building an Alternative Transcript   [#permalink] 16 Apr 2013, 06:18
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